Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: My car will not start without a jump

asked by on

My car drove to work fine, I went to start it when I left and it wouldn't start, I figured I left a light on or something and I got a jump and it started, while I was driving it my stereo was going in and out and my check engine, abs, battery, and airbag lights all came on. When I got home and turned off my car it would not start again. I had to get a jump and all the lights came back on, now my car is making a whistling sound and my cat was silent before, why is it doing all of this suddenly?

My car has 133751 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: This sounds like your alternator is going o...

This sounds like your alternator is going out. It maybe outputting just enough power to allow the car to run once you get it started, but it isn't putting out enough power to recharge your battery. Either way, you need to have the battery tested first followed by your alternator. The whistling sound is most likely the alternator. They will often make various humming or whistling noises when problems occur.

Based on your description, it is likely your alternator. Although, the battery could be the source of the problem for detailed reasons beyond the scope of this forum. For this reason, the battery should be thoroughly tested before the alternator is condemned.

If you need help with getting these components checked, consider YourMechanic. A certified technician will be able to assist you by diagnosing the issue with your battery and fix it as necessary

Good luck!

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Check engine light is on

It sounds to me like your engine may be misfiring. If a cylinder has a misfire the engine will not run in balance and causes it to shake. The misfire will also dramatically affect engine performance, most noticeable under acceleration....

Q: Engine making whining noise

Hi there. The most common cause of this on your engine is the water pump. It can be a number of other things also. I typically remove the belt and run the engine to verify that the noise goes away....

Q: I have a charging proble and more but good engine and transmission

It sounds like you have a short in the electrical system. They can be hard to find, but I would first focus on the wires under the dash, where you saw the smoke. It is possible that the melted and...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...